Kidz Kartz founders get national recognition

Kidz Kartz founders Deneece and Murray Goldsworthy’s years of service have been recognized at the Norwood New Zealand Rural Sports Awards in Palmerston North.

Last night the Aucklanders were named joint winners of the Levno Outstanding Contribution to Rural Sport, along with Waimate’s Warren White for his service to shearing.  

The  Goldsworthys  were responsible for establishing the country’s first Kids Kartz in 2003 after hearing about similar ventures in Australia, North America and Europe.

Now there are  eight clubs and approximately 300 youngsters involved in the sport around the country with Kidz Kartz having played a crucial role in developing some of New Zealand’s top drivers such as Zachary Butcher, Josh Dickie and Alicia Harrison.

One who endorsed their nomination was  well-respected harness racing identity Anne Phillips. She says  “without them Kidz Kartz would never have started”.  

 “They sourced the ponies, 5 or 6 of them, so they were ready to go, they found the gear and set up the Kidz Kartz, they got the money and supported it themselves.”

 “Deneece was actually looking forward to a new kitchen and saved up for it but they decided to buy a truck to get the ponies to the races instead.”

The awards were announced at Awapuni Racecourse in Palmerston North last night (Friday).

Norwood New Zealand Rural Sports Awards Judging Panel Convenor Nathan Twaddle said he was thrilled to be celebrating so many people who had provided a lasting impact and benefit to the rural sporting community.

“The Norwood New Zealand Rural Sports Awards honour everyone from young athletes, to lifetime achievers; including those who work behind the scenes to make sure rural sports survive.

This year, once again, we had an incredibly impressive line-up of finalists for each category showcasing the strengths of rural sports in Aotearoa.”

High school student  Stephanie McNair took out both the Fonterra Young New Zealand Rural Sportsperson of the Year Award and the Norwood New Zealand Rural Sports Supreme Award for her contribution to the rural sporting community.

Having only started out in the sport in 2018, Stephanie McNair’s flair for target shooting has seen her win, and be highly placed in, many competitions throughout 2020 which featured top shooters from around New Zealand, including those who have competed at the Commonwealth and Olympic Games. She has also had international wins against teams from Great Britain and USA.

Last year harness racing won two awards, Ricky May got the Lifetime Legacy award, and Sarah O’Reilly was named Young Rural Sportsperson of the Year after winning the New Zealand and Australasian Junior Driver championships.

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